Throughout our lives, we are subject to a whole host of events some amazing, some good, some bad and for some horrendous! According to the “Lord’s Prayer” we should forgive others as God has forgiven us! This is not a passive, one-time only thing, but as we are flawed and constantly make mistakes, we need God’s forgiveness and grace as well as the forgiveness of those that we have wronged!
The problem with this “F-word” is that it is far from easy to do, I know personally, I can recall numerous occasions that people have upset me/angered me/hurt me, and I am fully aware that others have had much worse done to them (even in the name of “God”). As I look back, I believe that I have forgiven people for what they have done, and hopefully they have forgiven me for what I have done to them.
Jesus said “don’t forgive seven times but seventy times seven times” it’s not that we should go over it 490 times, but Jesus means that we need to REALLY forgive, he goes on to tell a parable about a servant who is let off a huge debt of money and then “throws the book” at someone who owes him very little money! Unsurprisingly the master is angry about that!
In theory we can all sit back and say “what a jerk!” but when it comes to how much God has forgiven us, we can be just like that ungrateful servant! The only faith that I have heard of where various parents have stood up and said “I forgive the attacker(s) of my child” is Christianity! That must be really hard to do!
So why should we forgive?
- Because we are told to!
- Because we ask God to everytime we recite the “Lord’s Prayer” but in that we need to forgive too!
- Because holding on to hurts/resentment/anger only hurts you! (The person who you feel has wronged you may not even know they have or may have forgotten the incident)
It is said “Once bitten, Twice shy!” and there are certain people that I avoid because I do not want to allow them to hurt/offend me again, but that isn’t “Christlike“. He was beaten, whipped, spat on, insulted, made to carry a massive burden! Every single thing we could possibly go through he went through too!
Jesus tells us to “turn the other cheek” and walk that “extra mile”, not so we can continue to be beaten, but so the “offender” is embarassed by your resolve! When I was going through a time of hassle from my so called school friends, my brother said something to me which I will never forget “whatever happens you know where you are going, they don’t!” What’s the worse that can happen? If you die, and you have truly given your life to the Lord, been baptised, and tried your best to follow Jesus, you have a hope that is sure! Forgetting is harder but forgiveness is necessary, Jesus died once and for all, if you need to come to the cross to remember that then do so, if you need to stand up and forgive those who have hurt you and insulted you then do so!